Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by acechapman
A running toilet can be a frustrating and costly problem, as it can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day and drive up your water bill. If you have a running toilet, don’t despair! There are several steps you can take to try to fix it yourself, without the need for a plumber. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to fix a running toilet, so you can get your toilet back to working properly in no time. Whether your toilet is constantly running or only runs occasionally, these tips will help you troubleshoot and fix the problem.
What Causes A Toilet To Run Constantly?
There are several potential causes of a toilet that runs constantly:
- Faulty Flapper: The flapper is a rubber valve that controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. If the flapper is not properly aligned or seated, it can cause the toilet to run constantly.
- Stuck Float: The float is a device that helps to regulate the water level in the tank. If the float is stuck or not functioning properly, it can cause the toilet to run constantly.
- Broken Fill Valve: The fill valve is responsible for filling the tank with water after a flush. If the fill valve is broken or not functioning properly, it can cause the toilet to run constantly.
- Worn-out Flush Valve: The flush valve is located at the bottom of the tank and controls the flow of water into the bowl during a flush. If the flush valve is worn out or not functioning properly, it can cause the toilet to run constantly.
- Clogged or Damaged Pipes: If the pipes that carry water to and from the toilet are clogged or damaged, it can cause the toilet to run constantly.
4 Steps To Fixing Your Running Toilet
1. Check the fill tube
If you find your toilet overflowing, don’t panic! The fill tube is a small flexible tube that runs from the fill valve to the toilet overflow tube. While the tank refills, this tube squirts enough water down the overflow tube to refill the bowl after a flush. The bowl won’t fill when the tube falls off or when the water stream misses the overflow tube. This leads to a wimpy flush, meaning that it won’t develop a strong siphon.
Once you’ve reattached the fill tube and pushed it onto the fill valve, place it 1 inch over the overflow tube and watch the water stream down. Flush, and if everything is in order, you’ll see the water go down the toilet overflow without a hitch!
2. Adjust the Fill Height by Checking the Float
Another tip to fix a running toilet is to adjust the fill height. The adjustable float in the tank is what controls the water level. If it’s set too low, you’ll end up with a weak flush. If it’s set too high, water will spill into the overflow tube and won’t stop filling. Does your toilet keep running? We have just the solution to help you stop the madness. Next time, when you go to the toilet, take a moment and see if there’s a fill level mark on the back of your tank. If you can’t find it, measure out about one inch from the overflow tube and make a mark.
If the water doesn’t reach and stop at that mark, you’ll need to adjust your toilet tank float. To do this, either raise or lower it until the water reaches and stops at the mark. Old toilets might need a little adjustment as well-just bend that brass rod connecting to your float ball until it’s in the right position. With newer toilets, you usually turn a screw or slide a clip along a rod. Flush the toilet after each adjustment and keep adjusting the float until the water shuts off at the proper level.
We recommend that you use an inch or two of water to avoid the dreaded “critical level” issue. You can also adjust the height of the valve to give you more space for water. Sometimes, your toilet’s fill valve will get stuck, leaving the water running until it floods your bathroom. This is because the valve is defective. To fix it, turn off the water supply to the tank. You can change out the valve in 15 minutes- no need to worry about matching old parts!
3. Adjust the Flush Handle/Flapper Chain
Flapper chains that are too short or tangled will prevent the flapper from closing, which means water will continue to leak into the tank. The fill valve is forced to cycle on and off in order to keep the tank full. If you’re struggling to flush the toilet, it’s probably because it’s too long, which means the flapper is not opening wide enough.
If you want to avoid “low water in the toilet bowl” and other problems, make sure the linkage is adjusted to leave only a slight bit of slack when the flapper is closed. Cut off any excess chain at the rod to leave only about an inch so it won’t tangle. Make sure that the rod does not strike the lid and that it is in a straight line with the tank and flush handle. If it is not, gently bend it down and readjust the chain. That’s all there is to it!
4. Replace the Flapper
If your toilet keeps running, it’s probably because your flapper is worn out. To find out how to stop it from overflowing, turn off the water and remove the old flapper. Take it to the store to find an exact replacement. These flappers are designed with a “snap” that goes over the overflow tube. Others have a ring that slips over the tube.
The range of flappers has mushroomed over the last 15 years, and you may find an overwhelming number of options on the store shelf. Some packages include specific brand and model information, so make sure to note this before you leave home! If you can’t find the exact replacement for your old toilet flapper, try the closest one and pick up a universal type as well. They’re cheap, and the extra one just might save you a second trip to the store! (Avoid the “adjustable” types unless you’re replacing an adjustable one.)
It’s not hard to install a new flapper, but it is hard to fix an old one. If your toilet keeps running or runs intermittently, check the seals. You may need a different flapper.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can troubleshoot and fix common issues that cause a running toilet. If you are unable to fix the problem yourself, it may be necessary to call a plumber to diagnose and repair any underlying issues with the plumbing. By fixing a running toilet, you can save water and money.
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